The Mason

He’s a mason. He builds and mends for a living. Each day he carefully measures and lays down the mortar and bricks required to build walls, windows, roofs, courtyards; a home, a school, or a prayer hall. He’s the man when you need someone to mend the cracks, collapsed walls of your buildings, and even if all you want is too add that something to your structure. He binds, shapes, smoothens all kinds of undulations and brings uniformity and congruity to the buildings in the village.

Every evening at five, he walks across the fields pregnant with golden wheat, to his home at the other end of the village. The tiredness of the day weighs heavy on his brow and his feet drag with the exertions of the day. Beads of sweat make runnels down his aching, weather-beaten back.

But nothing beats the ache that erupts every single evening when he stands before the gates to his home.

The wide gate is painted in two contrasting colors, each side depicting the personal tastes of the owners of their side of the gate. The humble six room house is now divided into two quarters of three rooms each. The huge open kitchen is now divided into two smaller ones, where two different sets of chulhas (stoves) churn out two different kinds of meals. The large, inviting courtyard is now divided into two where every festival – Diwali, Holi, Teej, Rakshbandhan, are all celebrated, in two different corners, in hushed, subdued tones. There are no exchanges now, not of love, not of happiness, not of anything at all. Two families were rent apart by stupid squabbles, and a bit of stamped legal paper… all for a piece of land, partitioned too, that eventually was sold off by both sides. Together the land was large, the labor, plenty. Alone, it became a liability.

Each evening he sees his niece of four playing in the courtyard. She jumps up in glee when she sees him. She makes a dash to him when he smiles at her, but she stops short of that invisible line that divides this living space into ‘his’ and ‘theirs’. Even she knows.

She scurries back to her spot. He shuffles into his rooms, as unsettled in his heart as the first night of the partition.

He’s a mason. He builds and mends. But who’ll mend this broken house?

18555851_100676450514066_4494546682437471084_n.jpgCopyright ©2017 Pradita Kapahi.

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42 thoughts on “The Mason

  1. Beautiful story. The theme, as is usual in your work, is strong. And I liked the symmetry between the opening and the finish.
    I didn’t quite enjoy the descriptions that you had, in the early part. I’d suggest trimming that, and reducing the use of adjectives and phrases that don’t add to the core story, since it’s fiction.
    Nice work. I hope to read all your work from now on.
    God bless. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ray (wink, wink) Long time no see. How have you been?

      I suppose you’ve been busy with things since you returned after the exams. Don’t worry you haven’t missed much since you left ton my blog. I haven’t been into writing much quality stuff lately. 🙄

      Your advice has been duly noted. I know I rely a lot on adjectives. I should really stop that. Thanks for pointing that out.


      • Ray’s back! 😀😀
        I’ve been well. I had thought I’d return bang to writing after the exam but it has taken longer.
        Any plans for a new series on your blog? Fiction or otherwise?
        As for adjectives, we all are guilty of them. This is part of our growing up as writers, so let’s hope we do. Always happy to help. 😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

        • Writing takes time to happen. That’s what I thought when I took some time off writing, but that hasn’t happened yet.

          No, no series planned yet. I’m concentrating now on the book. That’s why the blog has been seeing a lot of short stories and one liner quotes and humor.

          What are you planning? How about taking up your love story series again?


          • You took time off? Well, good. Sometimes that is needed too for rejuvenating.
            Okay. So how far has the book come? And could you please tell what the basic plot is? Or synopsis?
            That love series is on the backburner now. I have a few ideas for short stories. Let’s see how, if, they come to fruition. 😁😁


            • Yes i did. For a while the writing seemed forced. So I stopped. Went out of town. Came back. Still hoping to kick start the book. The novella I should have published by now is still in the editing stage. And I have no idea even where my first book’s text is stored.

              So you see I’m quite a mess right now. 🙄

              Short stories? I’ll be waiting eagerly for them 😁


              • It’ll come, like an incurable itch, the desire to write. You should make a killing then, in terms of plot development and word count.
                Yes, this does sound messy, but what it doesn’t sound like is the synopsis of your book. Ahem ahem.

                I hope my stories stand up to your expectations. 😊

                Liked by 1 person

                • You’re right. It’s buzzing in my head, the story, but I haven’t been able to sit down and write it down for lack of time, to be honest. And yes, inclination too, I’ll admit.

                  I see you’re intent on knowing the plot. I think I told you that my first was fantasy. I’m still torn between finishing that and starting a new one which will be a thriller about a woman who discovers something about her family.

                  Part of me wants the excitement of writing a new book and part of me is itching to develop the fantasy plot further. But both need immense research and I’m stil in no position to do that 🙄

                  How about your crime thriller? As far as I remember, you were done with about 40% of it during the nanowrimo period.


                  • The second book looks more promising to me, in part because suspense thriller is more my thing. And Fantasy isn’t.
                    You could sit down and think clearly as to which of the two books you have more inclination towards.
                    Whether you write the first or the second, you’d have a book done. Finished.
                    As for research, that is inevitable. You have to do the dirty work to create a good book.😀
                    My crime thriller is still where it was. Haven’t written a word in 2-3 months I guess. 😥

                    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pradita, it’s dark, human and endearing at the same time in exploring lives that we like to shun every single day. There is a story in our observation and imagination. It’s terrific and spurned with a human heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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